Tag Archives: Book

Interview with A.D. Britten, Author of A Soul Unbroken

Good morning,

Today’s interview is with A.D. Britten, author of A Soul Unbroken – A Journey.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
    My author name is A.D. Britten, short for Ashley Dane Britten.  I live in Maryland.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
   The title of the book I just completed is A Soul Unbroken: A Journey.  It is modern, realistic GLBT fiction with inspirational themes.
3) What is the book about?
An extended synopsis is below:
Joey Christopher has never had an easy life. After being forced to leave home, he moves in with his best friend and later boyfriend, Allen.  Unbeknownst to him, Allen, who has had his own life difficulties, is a part-time sex worker.  Although initially reticent, Joey starts to do the same thing for financial reasons and out of a warped sense of loyalty to Allen.  Several years go by, and life has started to take a turn for the worse.  Being introduced to drugs by a client, Allen becomes a violent addict and ultimately starts selling drugs.  Even though he becomes unbearable at times, Joey remains loyal to him, but things change when Allen is arrested during a drug bust.  Then Joey finds himself homeless again.  Now with no friends to give him a place to stay this time, he turns to his last resort: entering a homeless shelter. It’s here where he meets Mrs. Winston, the kindly older woman who runs the shelter.  She takes a particular, almost maternal, interest in him and his well-being.  Although, Joey is not a very open person he does accept her friendship and realizes that just talking to her makes him feel better. She’s like the mother he never had. The seeds of hope she plants during their casual talks help give him what no one else ever has-a sense of importance.
As time goes by, Joey notices that Mrs. Winston seems to get tired easily during their walks.  He later learns that she has terminal cancer.  Before passing away, she tells him that she learned through one of their conversations, that one of Joey’s clients had been her late husband.  Joey is stunned to learn this and is upset that he had unknowingly hurt someone who has been so kind to him.  But Mrs. Winston insists that she has no ill-feelings toward him.  She understands that he hustled because he was poor, had no one else to rely on for money, and that he came from a very bad home.  In her will she leaves him some money (Mrs. Winston is wealthy), which shocks him and he initially does not do much of anything with it.  He has been saving his own money from hustling in order to buy a new apartment for him and Allen to live in after Allen is released from jail, which takes place after a year.  When Allen returns home, they initially have a happy reunion.  But soon it’s clear that Allen is still a violent addict.  After one of the worst fights they have ever had, Allen leaves and Joey is effectively on his own.  After learning that a close friend of his has just been diagnosed with HIV, he starts to seriously think about making some changes and leaving hustling behind him.  Joey has always liked to read, and so he puts in an application to a small, antique and religious book shop.  The owner is an older, conservative man but through the influence of his daughter who is openly gay, he hires Joey who stays there for several years as things gradually get much better with many new friends as well as a new boyfriend, later husband, and new life.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
    It’s rather unusual how the story got started.  The story is set in central Indiana, which is where I am from. It was a good place to grow up, but it can be rather conservative.  Several years ago when there were some demographic changes taking place, some people claimed that male prostitution that had started to take place in the area.  Whatever was going on was probably only affecting a few neighborhoods in one section of the city, but some people spoke about the problem in the news.  Well around the same time, there was a local news story about a guy who engaged in that sort of thing.  I guess it was rather striking how people assumed that something was not taking place in the area, when it actually was.
    I should point out that this is not a biography of anyone. The story is completely fictitious.  But that was where the story got started.  Additionally, the story was a way for me to write about different issues.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
   I initially wrote it in about 6 months.  I updated the book last year and that took about another 4 months.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
     Yes, there are some organizations that help homeless gay youth, but, several years ago when I initially wrote the story there did not seem to be many.
     I have also learned that many people have an issue with the main themes of the story, which is not a surprise.  Many people, especially more traditional Christians/religious people, are uncomfortable with GLBT issues so the story, although it is supposed to be inspirational, does not resonate with some people.
     Lastly, even though it has been over ten years since I initially wrote it, I have yet to see another fiction book like this.  I think that is a good and a bad thing.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

     I have an author Facebook page.  A.D. Britten

A.D. Britten

A.D. Britten. 363 likes · 1 talking about this. A.D. Britten is a writer of creative fiction with multicultural …

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
    I would suggest that you should stay true to your vision, but also take constructive criticism in order to become a better writer. If possible, have multiple people read your story and provide feedback.
    Regarding editors, I used a website that had freelance editors.  There are several out there to choose from like Upwork and Indeed.  I had a positive experience posting an ad and getting responses and finally chose someone who quickly replied and also seemed to have a good professional background so that they could provide solid feedback.
    Regarding cover artists, I didn’t use one.  I just chose a free picture from an images site along with stock book design from Amazon publishing.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
     I like to read biographies, historical fiction, and just anything that is an interesting, well-told story.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
    It’s hard to name a favorite book of all time, but there are certain stories that I liked reading such as A Tale of Two Cities, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and Beowulf.  I know that’s a very eclectic mix. I guess I like reading stories set in the past.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
     No, pets. They are expensive and unless it is a seeing-eye dog, a therapy animal, or an animal used on a farm, I think animals belong outside in their natural habitat.  I know that is not the most popular point of view, but there it is.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
     Yes, a few years ago for Christmas I got a kindle. I like it and have been using it off and on ever since.
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Interview with Dennis A. Smith, Author of How to Commit Suicide (How to Kill off Your Negative Self Image)

Hello,

Today’s interview is How to Commit Suicide by D.A. Smith. (How to kill off your negative self image.)

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

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Interview with Steven Pustay, Author of 0-0-Dead

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Steven Pustay, author of 0-0-Dead.

Please see it below.

Best,

-Vincent

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Steven Pustay – Canton, OH
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
0-0-Dead  – Murder Mystery/Police Procedural
3) What is the book about?
Marc Nixon manages a pickleball league in a gated community in Naples, Fl. He imagines the game, the league and the warm summer evening play perfect. He is perfectly wrong.
A murder brings secrets and horrors to light and blurs deeply Marc’s idea of perfection.
Detective Thomas Fraiser and his partner Fran Degardo pass through the gates and into a community that imagines it has protected itself from the violence and evil of the outside world. Thomas Fraiser knows the security gate offers no such protection. He knows this, because his own demons have come along for the ride.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I’d written a statistical book for pickleball players (Inside the Game: The Madness, Metrics, and Methods of Winning Pickleball) and a friend and fellow player whod read it challenged me to write a murder mystery with a pickleball theme.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
7 months
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I wrote the project as a serialized novel and gave members of our pickleball club (hofcpickleball.com) several chapters each week from October through December. Writing a serialized book is a challenge. Each episode needs to be its own story. Each episode needs to have some hook (cliffhanger) to draw the readers back again. Each episode needs to be polished, edited carefully, made ready for the public. Knocking those out every week was a challenge and required real literary and physical discipline. No days off from writing!
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
No videos but a website / blog (https://pustays.wixsite.com/towardthemark)
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Treat writing like work. Approach it with discipline, pride in your work. Consider it a craft and make every effort to polish your skillset. Read everything.
Cover Artists – My son and I collaborate on Covers. He’s a skilled photoshop editor. His P.H.D thesis was published and he designed the cover. Brilliant! He’s helped with all four of mine (I’m working on Mob Girls: Genesis, my fourth book currently.)
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Mystery. Thrillers. Detective Fiction. I find real pleasure in Craig Johnson’s Longmire Series. Grand Schemed classics. Middlemarch, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis. Steinbeck, Hemingway. I have reviewed lots of books and am open to do that.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
 
East of Eden  Steinbeck – The scale. The time period. The idea that monster’s do indeed exist. The caprice of timing and how all can be won or lost on some knife edge of history. That family bonds are both fragile and lasting.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
None now. But cats, lots.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I read all my e-books on an old but very useable iPad.

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Interview with Natalie P. Jenkins, Author of After the Storm

Hello,

We have another interview today, this time with Natalie P. Jenkins, author of After the Storm.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name?

My author name is Natalie P. Jenkins and I live in the state of Kentucky.

2) What is your book title and genre?
The title of my newest book is After The Storm, and it’s an autobiographical novel. In simpler terms it’s my life story in a novel!
3) What is the book about?
As I mentioned above, this is my life story and a love story. It starts at the point where my fiancé was killed in a car accident and ends with me meeting my current boyfriend.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I decided that I needed to write my story pretty soon after Jason died. However, I waited until I was in my right mind before wrote my first book. I always knew that I wanted to share my love story with the world when I met someone else.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took me about 9 months to finish it completely.
6) What did you learn from the project?
I learned a lot throughout this process, most of which was patience. It’s better to take your time and give the story justice instead of rushing through to be published quicker.
7) Do you have an author website?
I do have an author website! It’s www.nataliepjenkins.com. There will be some videos about my book coming soon! So keep an eye out for them.
8) What advice could you give to authors?
The best advice I could give to anyone is build an audience. I made the mistake of not doing that with my first book and it definitely impacted my sales.
9) Would you review books by new authors?
yes, I do like to read works from other authors. I’m always open to a good book! My favorite genre is true crime, but I’ll read the occasional romance novel every now and then.
10) What is your favorite book?
My favorite book of all time is the Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
11) Do you have pets?
Yes, I have a pet. I have black cat named Buddy. He’s been the best comfort to me and I don’t know how I made it this far in life without him.
12) Do you have a e-reader?
I have a kindle that I use for reading! I prefer it over reading on my phone. Though, when it comes to reading, I prefer paperback most of the time.
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Interview with Billy Baldwin, Author of The Boy, the Mermaid, and the Storm

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Billy Baldwin, author of The Boy, the Mermaid, and the Storm.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

Billy Baldwin,  USA

 

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

The Boy, The Mermaid, And The Storm.  Genre:  Modern-day Fairytale

 

3) What is the book about?

A Boy sets sail as he does each dawn, but this day is like no other: a storm has come. Battling the wind and waves he is overcome.  From the deep a mermaid carries the boy to the Island Of The Eye.  The mermaid explains it’s the boy’s time to face the storm and her time to guide him through it. The only way home is for the boy to make it through the stormy darkness. Together, the boy and the mermaid sail into four overwhelming challenges, each one testing all the boy’s strengths and beliefs.

“No storm is stronger than you”, The mermaid tells the boy.  Wedged between wind and wave the boy feels powerless, but faces the wall of water, nonetheless. Attacked by a Sea Dragon the boy battles physical and mental exhaustion. Tricked by the storm the boy must trust his will & spirit to survive. Finally, the storm declares its absolute power and tells the boy his futile attempts to survive are in vain. About to give up, the boy comes to understand the power and strength of the Mermaid’s words and defiantly tells the storm: “You may claim my last breath, but you will not claim me.”

The Boy, The Mermaid, and the Storm is a modern-day fairytale about the battles we face through life’s storms.  I created this book to help adults and children alike discover the courage and inner strength we all possess to persevere through even the mightiest of battles.

 

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

Helping my brother battle a storm In the form of an illness.  His ‘mermaid’ was his girlfriend, who helped him through every step of the way.

 

5) How long did it take you to write it?

I originally created an outline for the story fifteen years ago and decided to go forward with the book late in 2019.  Writing and illustrating the book took about 3 months.

 

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I discovered the beauty, and the challenges, of black and white illustration. The clarity and simplicity of greyscale illustrations facilitate powerful communication.  However each and every line within black and white illustrations carry much greater weight and significance than if you are working in full color.

 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

my website is:  billybaldwinstories.com  you can see one of my books, Wipeout The Wave, on video here:  https://www.goodreads.com/videos/156464-wipeout-the-wave

 

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

I specialize in writing children’s books.  I encourage young writers to follow their passion and not to be timid in their creative process, overly worrying about industry standards.  It took me years to find an illustrator that I could work with to bring my sketches to life.  When working on a book we are in communication several times each day, going back and forth re. the development of characters and images.  I believe it is essential for authors and the person who is illustrating the book to be able to communicate freely and openly.

 

 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I enjoy all kinds of Children’s books, andI especially love Dr. Seus and Roald Dahl.  As much as I do enjoy all sorts of books I would have trouble as a reviewer as I have severe dyslexia – therefore reading and writing are quite a challenge for me.  Overcoming my Dyslexia in order to read and write has been challenging, however, my passion to express my creative vision has compelled me to find unconventional reading and writing methods.  Given this challenge, I would likely not be a good candidate for writing reviews.

 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

Tolkien, Dr. Suess and Roald Dahl are some of my fav. authors.  If I had to pick one book that represents all that I love about children’s literature I would choose The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

I don’t have any pets though there is a chipmunk who lives under my backdoor steps and he seems to have adopted me!  I leave nuts out for him and if I forget for a time I see him peering into my house through my glass door with a look of impatience on his face.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I truly enjoy the physicality of books and have never enjoyed reading on a device. I have a large collection of books, vintage and new, and take great pleasure exploring the actual pages. Even the smell of an old book can add to its charm.

 

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Interview with Julian Adorney, Author of The Dragon’s Curse

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Julian Adorney, author of The Dragon’s Curse.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

I write under my real name–Julian Adorney.

 

I live in Colorado but I want to travel the world 🙂

 

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

The Dragon’s Curse is a stand-alone fantasy romance novel.

 

3) What is the book about?

Here’s the synopsis:

 

When Princess Esmerelda stumbles onto a secret buried in the depths of her floating city, the God of Fate curses her. Within seventy days, she will die and her beloved kingdom will fall.

 

If Esmerelda is to survive, she’ll have to unravel the secret of why she was cursed and learn to beat a spiteful God at its own game.

 

Complicating her struggle is Parius, a dashing stranger with a mysterious past. He’s brave and noble and unpredictable, and she finds herself falling for him. But he has dark secrets all his own, secrets their budding relationship may not survive.

 

Their quest takes the pair to forgotten magics, beautiful witches in sleepy villages, and the ancient caverns of the dragons. But time is running out. Can the lovers defeat the God of Fate, or will they lose everything they hold dear?

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

It took me awhile to figure out what the book was about honestly, because writing is so much an exploration for me. It’s not like I decide what the book is about and then set pen to paper to write it…it’s more like I’m exploring the story as I go! So first I thought the story was about a princess who learned to fight, and I played around with a few different ideas before I realized it was about a woman who fought against a brutal destiny.

 

At the time I was struggling a lot with the idea of fate and free will, so it makes sense that I was called to write this story.

5) How long did it take you to write it?

A little over two and a half years from start to publication. And it was an absolute blast the whole time 🙂

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

Tons! This is the first novel that I’ve published, and I’d never worked on a story this complex before.

 

I learned to trust my Muse–my Muse knows the story a whole lot better than my left-brain logical “Me” does. I also learned to not try to predict where the story was going to go–a lot of the really fun moments came because I was discovering this story right along with the characters, and when Esmerelda got herself into a tight spot I didn’t know how she would get out again!

 

Finally I learned that writing fiction is weird–and that’s okay! Amazing, actually. I remember one time I was trying to get a handle on the character of a talking tiger. And it just hit me one moment–I’m walking down the street in broad daylight, having a vivid (but silent) conversation with a talking tiger and asking him why he’s mad at a sorcerer. It was fun!

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

Here’s my author website: https://julianadorney.com/, although I don’t blog a ton. No book video at the moment.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

My main piece of advice, like I said above, is to trust your Muse. It knows the story, so sit back and let it tell it.

 

I used Amygdala Designs for my cover art, and Ida was fabulous! I don’t get anything if you use her, but I highly recommend checking her out.

 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I’m very open to reading new authors! I can’t promise a review unless I like the story, just because I know that different folks have different tastes and I don’t want to leave a negative review of a good book just because it wasn’t my cup of tea 🙂

 

I love reading fantasy stories and romance stories. I love any stories with a good romance in them. I also read some sci-fi!

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

The Harry Potter series, because it’s just so magical. If I had to choose a favorite book, I would say Prisoner of Azkaban–I love the big reveal about Sirius!

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

I really want to get a cat! But no pets right now.

 

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I don’t honestly, I just use my laptop or physical books. I really love physical books.

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Interview with Lucy May Lennox, author of The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman

Hello,

Today we have another interview, this time with Lucy May Lennox, author of The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman.

Please enjoy.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

My name is Lucy May Lennox and I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman, historical fiction

3) What is the book about?

The setting is London, 1735, the early Georgian era. Tom Finch, blind from childhood, works as an assistant conductor in a Covent Garden theater, and as a composer of popular tunes. He doesn’t let his blindness get in the way of living the high life with his low-class friends. If people condescend to him, that’s their problem. Tess Turnbridge is an aspiring opera star who auditions at Tom’s theater. She’s not about to let anything get in the way of her rising career, certainly not a lowly assistant conductor who keeps flirting with her.

This witty, lively novel is a picaresque romp through high and low Georgian society among rakes, rovers, thieving whores and demireps, highway robbers, bigamists, and duelists, bisexual opera divas, castrati, mollies, and cross-dressers, lecherous aristocrats, and headstrong ladies.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

I was frustrated with the stereotypes and clichés about blindness and disability in historical fiction, particularly the 18th century. So often, the plot is about an impossibly wealthy man who is recently blinded, and is angry and bitter, until a self-sacrificing woman comes along and by passively loving him, helps him get over himself. Often the happy ending can only come after his sight is miraculously restored, as if people with disabilities can’t live full, rich lives.

If we look at real history, though, there were blind men who achieved great professional and social success in Georgian London, such as John Fielding, brother of Henry Fielding, and John Stanley, a composer and conductor who was an inspiration for Tom.

I wanted to write something that is the complete opposite of the usual stereotype: a man who has been blind all his life and is already fully independent and capable when the story begins, who doesn’t need a woman to be a nursemaid or carer; people at the fringes of polite society, rather than only the super rich; characters who are gay and bisexual, because they definitely existed back then. And I wanted it to be funny and exuberant. I dislike historical fiction that is grim and dark, or self-serious. It’s frustrating when characters with disabilities only exist to create angst. The 18th century was a peak of satirical, funny writing, and I wanted to reflect that.

5) How long did it take you to write it?

From start to finish it took me ten years! But I wasn’t working consistently the whole time. I wrote the first draft in 2010. In 2013, I published my first novel, Love in Touch, with a small indie press, although I actually wrote that novel second. The press very kindly had a professional editor look over the first draft of Tom Finch, which was tremendously helpful, but then the press went out of business and all the rights reverted back to me. For a while, I tried to get an agent interested but didn’t get anywhere, and I realized I didn’t want to be locked into producing a high volume series or creating a brand. Then I had children so it was many years before I got back to writing seriously. Finally in 2019 I decided to do the major revisions suggested by the editor. It took me almost a year to go through many rounds of revisions, with suggestions by other readers as well.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I did a lot of research, and I learned so much about the Georgian era. You can read my other blog posts about some of the research I did on disability and homosexuality in the eighteenth century, and about Baroque opera in London.

About the craft of writing in general, I learned how important it is to go through multiple rounds of editing with lots of feedback from different kinds of readers. The first draft was definitely not the best draft.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

Follow me on Goodreads: Lucy May Lennox.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

Freelance professional editors are expensive but absolutely worth it. It’s also good to be part of an online community of writers who will read your work critically and give more detailed feedback than you might get from a friend.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I enjoy classics and literary historical fiction, but I also read a lot of comic books and graphic novels.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

It’s hard to choose just one, but at the top of the list is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke and the Master and Commander series by Patrick O’Brian. I love historical fiction that feels true to the time period, that is funny and fun to read.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

No, taking care of small children is enough mess and chaos for now.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I use the Kindle app on an iPad. I love it because it’s so fast and efficient. I almost never buy hard copies of books anymore.

 

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